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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Spy Handler Re:Farming (733 comments)

People can survive quite well without the care of physicians. Going without food is more difficult.

This. But we're talking about a deep understanding of agriculture and plant biology, not modern farming with GPS-guided combines and Monsanto round-up seeds.One would need to know how farming was done in ages past.

And also since we're assuming a post-apocalyptic world in which computer programmers are useless due to a lack of electricity, I'd say even more important than farming knowledge is fighting knowledge. Having guns and ammo (LOTS of ammo) and knowing how to use them. Shooting a gun accurately may seem simple to the uninitiated, but it takes considerable training and practice. Also knowing how to fix guns (gunsmithing) will be an important skill.

The holy grail in this world would be having the chemistry knowledge and experience to make your own gunpowder and ammo. If you could do that, you'd become THE most important person a local warlord could have in his court.

about a week ago
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Samsung Claims Breakthrough In Graphene Chip Design

Spy Handler Re:Where will Graphene Vally be? (88 comments)

What? Only one of those accepts immigration in any significant numbers.

Japan is notoriously xenophobic and does not let immigrants in (hence the crazy search for robot nurses). Korea is only slightly less so. Chinese are generally not as xenophobic as these two, but China has so many people already that there's still a huge outflow of people out of China into all corners of the world.

about two weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

Spy Handler Re:It's the conversation, (367 comments)

Majority of the cars on the road are driven by a single driver with no passengers. Just look around next time you're driving.

I am unfamiliar with ham radio and I've never seen one in a car or a truck, so I will not comment. However semi truck drivers with CB radios are:
1. limited by radio protocol and the half-duplex nature of radio as to what they can talk about, and 2. limited to talking to a very small number of other truck drivers in transmission range.

On the other hand, drivers using cellphones are 1. talking about anything and everything, and 2. able to talk to ~90% of the human population.

Having kids throwing crap and yelling "DAD HE IS HITTING ME!" is certainly highly distracting. But go outside with a telephoto lens and sample a thousand cars. How many drivers are talking on their cell, and how many drivers are getting pelted by kids throwing stuff at them at any given moment?

about three weeks ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

Spy Handler Re:Launch costs are expensive for a reason (292 comments)

no, launch costs are expensive because they throw away all that carefully researched and manufactured hardware after one use.

A Boeing 787 is pretty expensive too, at like $300 million each (actually it would cost billions each if they made only a few of them as they currently do in the space industry). But they reuse it thousands of times and that's how you can fly in one for a few hundred bucks.

SpaceX Grasshopper will be key to the future of space exploration.

about a month ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

Spy Handler Re:NASA needs SpaceX. SpaceX doesn't need NASA. (292 comments)

You do realize the last time this happened, humans were hunter-gatherers using stone tools, and we survived just fine. Why would you think that the world's gonna end the next time the magnetosphere collapses and reverses polarity?

Sure some of our societies and governments might collapse, but humans as a species are in no danger of extinction.

about a month ago
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"Shark Tank" Competition Used To Select Education Tech

Spy Handler Technology and money are fine (57 comments)

but the simple method of firing 10% of the worst teachers and reassigning their students to the rest does more to improve schools than anything else.

Most teachers know who the worst of the worst are. Principals know.

If union rules make such an act impossible, keep these 10% worst teachers on payroll and have them sit around watching youtube, but send their students to better teachers.

about 2 months ago
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Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One?

Spy Handler Anything it sees may be used against you (192 comments)

and anything it sees that's in your favor, they can just discard.

That's how it works currently when it comes to other kinds of evidence, no reason to think Glass data will be any different.

about 2 months ago
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Big Pharma Presses US To Quash Cheap Drug Production In India

Spy Handler Re:Fuck Beta (255 comments)

*You* are hearing the same thing over and over again. There are other people who might be seeing this for the first time.

Or am I wrong and the entire ad industry is insane? Everybody at Google is insane?

When you have an important message to convey to the masses, it makes sense to repeat the message until everybody gets it or you reach a saturation point where it might backfire.

Beta sucks btw, but they can keep it as long as I can go into settings and choose the classic skin.

about 2 months ago
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US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

Spy Handler We are also getting snubbed by Slashdot BETA (578 comments)

like the cord-cutters who are getting shafted by NBC/cable companies, we Slashdot users are getting boned by Dice with the forced Beta.

Make all the beta skins you want, but allow logged-in users to choose Classic.

The day Classic disappears as an option is the day 90% of slashdot members are gone.

about 2 months ago
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iWatch Prototypes Could Be Ready, Apple Hires Fitness Physiologists For Tests

Spy Handler Apple iWatch can't load Beta (100 comments)

they tried to load Slashdot Beta on the iWatch and it exploded, taking out several hipster Apple testers.

about 2 months ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

Spy Handler Re:"...as we migrate our audience..." (232 comments)

I can't promise we'll implement every suggestion (indeed, many are contradictory), but we absolutely consider them.

You only need to implement ONE suggestion and everyone will be happy. Let people continue to use Classic interface if they choose. That's all you need to do.

about 2 months ago
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Build an Open-Source Electric Car In About One Hour

Spy Handler Re:Fork Slashdot? (188 comments)

Is there even a need for any coding? I thought Slashcode was open source already.

about 2 months ago
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Designer Seeds Thought To Be Latest Target By Chinese

Spy Handler Re:Beta Developers (164 comments)

reddit, duh. All the bitcoin pump and dump artists hang out there, it's the worldwide HQ of bitcoin bandwagonism.

about 2 months ago
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Greenland's Fastest Glacier Sets New Speed Record

Spy Handler Re:What will it cost? (136 comments)

Actually I feel the same way about San Francisco. Once every century or so they enjoy a magnitude 9 earthquake. Obviously not the best place to build a densely populated city. Yet after the last magnitude 9 quake, the city leaders and rich elites deliberately downplayed the damage and death toll because they wanted people to come back to the city. They were protecting their wealth, which were tied to the S.F. real estate values.

about 2 months ago
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Greenland's Fastest Glacier Sets New Speed Record

Spy Handler At these rates (136 comments)

the glacier will break Mach 1 by 2016 when Hillary is president and Al Gore is secretary of state.

about 2 months ago
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20% of Neanderthal Genome Survives In Humans

Spy Handler Re:As someone who works in tech support... (202 comments)

They didn't leave cave paintings or anything that indicates capacity for symbolic reasoning.

Cro-Magnon man on the other hand, left shitloads of evidence like art and jewelry. Those cave painting in France are very extremely well done, probably better drawn than 95% of current human population could do.

about 3 months ago
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Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

Spy Handler Localhost (338 comments)

as a website maker (I hesitate to use the term developer on slashdot since javascript and php get a lot of hate), I load tons of pages from my own computer -- both my own coded pages and prepackaged stuff like Prestashop ecommerce software and Joomla. And loading pages from localhost is even faster than Google Gigabit fiber internet.

And guess what, it's nice but not life-changing. For example, doing ecommerce admin on a live customer website on the internet via DSL, vs. doing the same thing on my test localhost site. It's faster and less laggy but nothing I would kill for.

The difference between dialup internet and decent cable/DSL was way bigger.

about 3 months ago
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South Korean Court Rules That Phone Bloatware Must Be Deletable

Spy Handler Re:South Korean Government: (138 comments)

Because the government decreed ActiveX as the standard for banking and other government-related things back in the 90's.

It kinda made sense back then, IE 6 and ActiveX was actually superior to Netscape and Java plug-in (or whatever it was).

The problem is that as time went by, the world moved on, but S.Korea was stuck because everybody was already using ActiveX and they had invested huge amounts of time and money into it. This demonstrates the problem with doing things by government decree. In the US, banks were free to use whatever they damn wanted for their online banking. S.Korea banks had to use ActiveX period.

about 3 months ago
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How Silicon Valley CEOs Conspired To Suppress Engineers' Wages

Spy Handler Re:So, cue up.. (462 comments)

Sorry, collusion and general douchebaggery is just as much of a leftist Dem characteristic as any other party.

Which party do you think Steve Jobs identified himself with? (hint: it sure as hell ain't the GOP or Tea Party)

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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How Russia Should Respond to U.S. Olympic Snub with Snowden

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 4 months ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In a move that can only be interpreted as a snub against Russia's recent anti-gay laws, U.S. will be sending openly gay athletes as part of its delegation to the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, without President Obama or any other high ranking government official in attendance. Score one point for USA, most of us can agree that such anti-gay laws are unjust with no place in a modern civilized society. However, Russia can score its own point in rebuttal and highlight the log in America's own eye — NSA's global internet surveillance — by inviting Edward Snowden to the opening ceremony. Bonus point for having him light the Olympic torch."
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Verizon Programmer Caught Outsourcing Own Job To China

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year ago

Spy Handler writes "In 2012 when Verizon discovered that its corporate systems were being accessed by someone in China, it launched an investigation. Initially thought to be a case of industrial espionage or a malicious hacker, it turns out that one of their own employees had contracted his programming job out to a team in China. The programmer, man in his mid 40's identified only as "Bob", would show up for work, watch cat videos and surf Reddit (among other things), while the contractors in China did the work he was supposedly doing. He paid them one-fifth of the 6-figure salary he was getting from Verizon.

And over the past several years, Bob received excellent performance reviews of his "clean, well written" coding. He had even been noted as "the best developer in the building." However, Bob has been fired after his scheme was discovered."

Link to Original Source
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NASA To Test Bigelow Inflatable Module Aboard ISS

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year ago

Spy Handler writes "NASA has announced that it has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to build an inflatable module for the International Space Station. Details of the project will be announced Wednesday at Bigelow’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

Seems like all the pieces for a privately-built space renaissance are starting to fall into place. When the Falcon Heavy goes operational to provide cheap launches, we could finally have the spaceflight boom that space enthusiasts have been dreaming of."

Link to Original Source
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HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards."
Link to Original Source
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Google Threatened Acer with Banishment from Android

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating "if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer." Possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
Link to Original Source
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SpaceX Dragon Launch To ISS Set For April 30th

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "NASA announced today a tentative April 30th date for SpaceX launch to the International Space Station on an unmanned cargo mission.

"Everything looks good as we head toward the April 30 launch date," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.

If successful, SpaceX will become the first private company to launch a space vehicle and dock with the ISS."

Link to Original Source
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Apple and Samsung Rake In 95% of Mobile Phone Profits

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "The race for mobile domination appears to be a two-horse race. According to a new CNET report, Apple took in a whopping 80 percent of all profits in the mobile phone business last quarter — that's counting all cell phones, not just smartphones. Samsung came in second, reaping 15 percent of the profits. Everyone else was left scrambling for crumbs.

Perhaps the release of Windows 8 phones can turn the tide and prevent a Apple-Samsung duopoly from taking place."

Link to Original Source
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Free Hotel Wi-Fi Overwhelmed by iPads

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to iBAHN, a firm that provides Wi-Fi and computer services to hotels, free Wi-Fi networks are struggling to cope with the huge increase in traffic since the iPad was released.

"The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half," said David W. Garrison, chief executive of iBAHN.

Hotels are now facing a tough choice; keep Wi-Fi free and risk angering customers with slow internet, upgrade their internet pipe and charge customers for Wi-Fi (which also might anger customers), or upgrade their internet and eat the costs."

Link to Original Source
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Tearing Down iPhone 4S reveals 512MB RAM

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "ComputerWorld is reporting that tearing down the just-released iPhone 4S reveals an A5 processor and 512MB of RAM.

"How do we know it's 512MB? Check out the marking, specifically 'E4E4,' denoting two 2Gb LPDDR2 die — for a total of 4Gb — or 512MB."

What's baffling to me — since I have yet to drink the Kool-aid and am unfamiliar with Apple hardware — is why did it take disassembling the phone and examining chip markings to deduce the amount of RAM in the system? In Linux and Windows, you type in one command and it tells you. Or simply looking at the box usually shows the processor, RAM and HDD size"

Link to Original Source
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Would You Vote For a Programmer President?

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Herman Cain, one of the current front-runners in the race for the Presidency of the U.S., has a master's degree in Computer Science (and a bachelor's degree in Mathmatics). As a Slashdotter, would this fact affect your vote favorably toward him?

Contrast this with your typical politician, most of whom have a law degree and majored in something in liberal arts as an undergraduate. (Mr. Obama was a Political Science major and has a law degree)"
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NASA's Space Launch System: a Critical Analysis

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Jerry Pournelle has posted a quick analysis of NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) on his website. His two main criticisms involve:

1. Usage of the Shuttle main engines. "Those were developed to be reusable, and they are expensive because of that. They are in fact magnificent engines and thoroughly reusable if operated at 90-95% of rated capacity; it’s not their fault that they had to be run at 103% and above to fly Shuttle. But they were developed to be reusable, and that adds greatly to their cost."

2. Usage of SRBs. "You don’t want recoverable solid rockets in the first place. The operations are a nightmare, and the design has to be compromised so that the impact on the water does not destroy the thing, and it has to float. All that changes the design and affects performance. There is no good reason ever to recover a solid booster, which is, after all, a big sewer pipe stuffed with guncotton and leached with nitroglycerine....

The only reason we ever came up with any notion as mad as a segmented solid booster was that the SRB had to be made in Utah because of political constraints. If you make a booster that size in Utah it has to be segmented because you can’t ship it by rail or on the highway – the curves are too sharp and the tunnels are not big enough. You would have to make it in Michoud Louisiana and ship it by barge to Canaveral. That is possible but Louisiana isn’t Utah. Apparently the new NASA design is worried about the Utah Senatorial votes to this day."


His widely read 2000 paper titled How To Get To Space provides excellent insights into the X-programs and is well worth reading."

Link to Original Source
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Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In spite of the sensationalist stories on the Japan earthquake by U.S. media , which is giving the public an impression of a nuclear holocaust at the power plants and generally spreading anti-nuclear F.U.D., the reality is actually quite different... and not so dire. According to this article — which contains actual info about the reactors involved and how they function — everything worked exactly as the designers intended in a natural disaster scenario such as this, there will be no Chernobyl, and the public is not in danger of developing green skin and turning into the Hulk."
Link to Original Source
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Pickens Plan comes to a wimpering end

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In 2008, billionaire T. Boone Pickens unveiled his "Pickens Plan" on national TV, which calls for America to end its dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of wind power and natural gas. Over the next two years, he spent $80 million on TV commercials and $2 billion on General Electric wind turbines. Unfortunately market forces were not favorable to Mr. Pickens, and in December 2010 he announced that he is getting out of the wind power business.

What does he plan to do with his $2 billion worth of idle wind turbines? He is trying to sell them to Canada, because of Canadian law that mandates consumers to buy more renewable electricity regardles of cost."

Link to Original Source
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Americans' Support for Nuclear Power Highest Ever

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to a new Gallup poll, 64% of Americans favored nuclear power as a means for generating electricity.

Though a majority of Americans has long supported nuclear power, Gallup said the latest rating is the highest since it began polling on the issue in 1994.

71% of Republicans supported nuclear, while 51% of Democrats did so."

Link to Original Source
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Software Engineer Flies Plane into IRS Building

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software engineer flew his small airplane into an office building in Austin, Texas today. Fortunately none of the 199 IRS employees who work there were killed, even though the crash caused a massive fire that gutted the building.

The pilot, Joseph Stack, was the founder of a small software company that apparently had tax problems with the government, and he posted a disgruntled suicide note on his company webite. (archived version here.)"

Link to Original Source
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Los Angeles City Website Crashed by MJ Memorial

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler writes "The City of Los Angeles spent $1.4 million to provide security for Michael Jackson's memorial service on Tuesday, mostly in overtime pay for approximately 3000 police officers. Since the city was already in the midst of a severe budget crisis, it actively sought out donations from MJ fans, by asking them to go to the city's website and sending them money. (there is a prominent link at the top of the home page that says "JACKSON EVENT DONATIONS")

Unfortunately the website simply could not handle the surge in traffic and crashed repeatedly on Tuesday and Wednesday, one of them lasting for 12 hours. As of Wednesday the city has only received $17,000 in donations.

A quick check of the city's website reveals that it is running Sun Java Web Server 6.1"

Link to Original Source
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Nazi Stealth Bomber Built and Tested

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler writes "The Horton 229 Flying Wing, one of the more famous "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" produced in the latter days of WWII, is noted for its striking similarity to the modern B-2 Stealth Bomber. The question remained, "How effective would it have been against Allied air defenses of the day?". Unfortunately no surviving example existed for testing... until now. Northrop Grumman, on its own time and money, built a replica using the original blueprints and conducted radar tests. The result? Very good for the Nazis, bad for Allied defenses trying to detect it.

National Geographic Channel will be airing a new documentary about this on Sunday July 5th. (Although Nat Geo calls it "Hitler's Stealth Fighter", the size and shape of the aircraft dictates that it wouldn't have been used for anything other than dropping bombs)"

Link to Original Source
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Electrolyzed Water Cleans And Disinfects

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Spy Handler writes "Los Angeles Times is reporting about electrolyzed water gaining mainstream acceptance in the United States. Many people don't know this, but simply running a current through water mixed with table salt gives you a solution that acts as a germ killer and a degreaser — one that works better than toxic chemicals sold for that purpose (like chlorine bleach) — and it's safe enough to drink! The downside? The electrolyzed solution doesn't last very long so you can't bottle it up and put it on store shelves. And machines that electrolyze water cost about $10,000 each."
Link to Original Source

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